McAllen Boys & Girls Club
DONNA, TEXAS (Monitor) - After several years without a local Boys & Girls Club here, a local group is rallying to get some form of the club open again.
The previous Boys & Girls Club was disbanded after troubles with the Internal Revenue Service, said Eddie Sandoval, a local marketing director who is president of the committee to recreate the club.
“Donna hasn’t had anything for their kids in a while,” he said. “There’s a couple of us that got together and thought, ‘Hey, we’ve got to do something.’”
The group formed a committee that began meeting weekly and consulted an attorney, who advised not trying to restart the previous club, but instead forming a new branch to be part of the McAllen club.
Laura Reagan-Porras, executive director of the McAllen Boys & Girls Club, said she hadn’t had any direct conversations with the Donna committee yet and no commitments have been made, but said the McAllen club operates branches or activities in Weslaco, Rio Grande City and La Jolla.
“Because we’re a regional club and we have a larger budget, we can help these smaller communities that might not be able to sustain a full-blown club on their own,” she said. “This notion of coming under one umbrella is helpful for sustainability.”
Boys & Girls Club groups that operate under McAllen have their own unit directors and fundraising advisory boards to keep money they raise local, Reagan-Porras said. But all finances run through McAllen and the groups operate under a single board of directors.
Reagan-Porras said discussions would be under way regarding getting a Donna group formed. She knew the committee there was eager to get started quickly, but said it remained to be seen whether it would be possible to have anything put together by the end of the school year.
“It’s part of our charter as a regional club to be of assistance to other clubs and communities, but we don’t want to overwhelm our staff — timing is important,” she said. “I’m sure the sense of urgency (Donna) is feeling is about having something positive for kids to do over the summer.”
The club just hired a director for the Weslaco site last week, who would likely also oversee any Donna site. She will begin work the first week of May.
Sandoval and others in Donna will be meeting with a regional representative for Boys & Girls Clubs of America on April 24 and will be fundraising in the meantime.
At a city meeting Tuesday, Mayor David Simmons said the city had worked on the club’s previous building at 307 Miller Ave., which had fallen into such disrepair that the club couldn’t operate there. But after employees fixed the roof and repainted it, it would be available for the group to use, he said.
Sandoval said he had made arrangements with the First Baptist Church to possibly use their facility, but was surprised and enthusiastic about the news that the club could have a place of its own to call home.
“We all are in support of this because we know our community needs a Boys & Girls Club,” Simmons said.
Copyright 2013 Monitor
Updated 413 days ago Article ID# 1536301
McAllen Boys & Girls Club